Fundraising by the book is satisfying


Dunedin bookseller Richard West with a big heart, providing a hub for local book fans while also supporting charitable organisations. With the thousands of books displayed at his 6 Stafford St premises divided into six sections, including four offering books on commission for fellow collectors, browsers have a vast selection to choose from. Among his own book selections, Mr West has a section dedicated to raising funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation – an international charity which works to eliminate blindness among poor populations across the globe. “I decided when I began that, if I was going to have a book shop, I wanted it to have a charity component,” Mr West said. The concept has proven to be an effective fundraiser, and Mr West has been able to donate more than $12,000 to the Fred Hollows Foundation since 2013, as well as sending $400 to the Children’s Syria Fund.
“If I see a situation [where people are in need], I feel it is nice to be able to donate something,” he said. “It’s great that, for $25, you can help someone get their sight back.”
Mr West also has a close relationship with the nearby Hospice Shop (in the former Every Educaid building), spending an hour there most days sorting and re-stocking the shelves.
The books raised about $70 per day for the hospice, which added up to about $20,000 per year, he said. “If you look after books well you tend to attract good books, so that has become a good, strong fundraiser.” Mr West said Dunedin had enjoyed a resurgence in second-hand book stores in recent years and many readers still enjoyed hard copy books.
“It is a nice tie-in to our status as a City of Literature.”
Mr West said donations of books (apart from microwave cookbooks) were always welcome.